Detox on the Daily

Everyone knows that doing a detox is not just for Hollywood celebs anymore. Detox is everywhere these days. Much like CBD. CBD in your wine spritzer anyone? But is detoxing just a bunch of bullwinkle? Or is there a true health benefit to jumping onto the detox band wagon?

As a functional medicine doctor, I’ve always had a very healthy respect for the body’s ability to detoxify. It is something that you do naturally every day. Even though the term detox is quite fashionable and hip, all my readers out there should know (Mom, I’m talking to you!) that in general it’s a really bad idea to jump headfirst into a detox regimen designed to rev up your body’s detoxification engines.

Aggressively mobilizing 20 or 30 years worth of gunk that you’ve accumulated over your lifetime may not be in your best interest. In fact, you could feel pretty darn awful. Chances are that your body may not be able handle the increased toxic LOAD that a detoxification protocol can bring on. You must prepare and lay the groundwork.

Before we talk about HOW, let’s talk about WHY.
(And then let’s talk about where to have dinner tonight.)

Detoxification is something that we need to do every day. We are exposed to a growing number of environmental toxins day in and day out. One study from the Environmental Working Group looked at cord blood samples from newborns and identified 300 environmental toxins at birth. This is what got filtered down from mom to baby in a mere 9 months time. Imagine what happens from that day forward? You are apparently BORN super toxic. What happens in your 20’s? 30’s or late 40’s? Is 53 still considered late 40s? I’m going with that.

Where do these chemicals come from?

There are over 100,000 man-made chemicals that have NOT been tested for safety. The way this works is you have to prove a chemical is UNSAFE to get it off the market. You DON’T have to prove SAFETY before it is unleashed to the general public. Nice, right?

Here are some common examples of common environmental toxins:

  • Herbicides/pesticides – found in food, water, air, your lawn, and the golf course you play on. In fact living within 1 mile of golf course significantly increases your toxic burden.
  • Antibiotics – prescribed as well as in our food supply and water. Remember that cattle are given antibiotics to help them get fatter more quickly.
  • Artificial ingredients in our foods (red dye #7 is not “natural”)
  • Chemical pollutants in the air, our drinking water, and dry-cleaning
  • Make-up, hair care products, nail polish and most personal hygiene products are huge contributors. One study found that women don’t get out of the house before applying on average 15 different things on to their bodies. And that’s an AVERAGE! Also note that women have a three-fold increased risk of autoimmune disease compared to men. Put that lipstick down ladies!!
  • Medications and vaccinations need to be detoxified by our liver. If you are taking a daily medication or 3, imagine the increased load you need to tackle daily.
  • Household cleaners
  • Flame retardants on clothing and furniture
  • Off-gassing of chemicals from memory-foam mattresses
  • Plasticizers releasing endocrine-distrupting chemicals
  • Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum found in dental fillings, cans, food, fish, paints, etc.

So now that we see the scope of the problem you can understand why our bodies are overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of toxins and chemical combinations that exist. Just read your shampoo bottle and you’ll find about 30 ingredients that don’t sound safe to apply to your body.
» Never before in the history of humankind has there been the level of toxin exposure we face daily.

How would you know if toxins are a problem for you?

Here are some common health conditions I see in my practice that indicate toxin overload:

  • Weight loss resistance
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of focus and concentration or brain fog
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Thyroid hormone issues
  • Muscle aches and joint pains
  • Endometriosis, Fibroids, Uterine cancer, Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Early puberty
  • Infertility

Here’s the good news. This, in fact, IS my real hair. Oh! You mean the other good news? Well, our body is very well equipped to handle toxin elimination. It has developed over millions of years to try to rid the body of harmful substances and poisons. The bad news is that we have managed to overload its capacity over the last few years, and, we do need to give our body a helping hand.

Want to know the secret to conquering toxicity?

  • Take out the BAD (by reducing toxin exposure)
  • Put in the GOOD (support your body’s natural ability to detox)

TAKE out the BAD

  1. Eat organic meats and dairy and avoid the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables. These are the dirtiest (most heavily sprayed with pesticides) of all the fruits and vegetables. Check out the Environmental Working Group Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen.
  2. Eat only wild, low mercury fish. Here is a list of fish to eat and fish to avoid.
  3. Ditch any drugs you don’t need – Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Antibiotics are the top offenders. Consider working with a functional or integrative medicine physician who can help you get to the root cause of your illness and discomfort. Also, there are a lot of natural remedies that are less toxic to your system.
  4. Avoid smoking, limit alcohol intake and avoid having any fun. I mean it. Stop it.
  5. Convert to natural household cleaners, cosmetics, and body products. The Environmental Working Group has some suggestions to get you started.
  6. Get an air purifier in your house, particularly your bedroom at night, since you will be spending 8 hours there daily.
  7. Filter your water – I like Aquatru, Berkey water filter and Aquasana table top options.

ADD in the GOOD

There are many foods and herbs that can naturally support your body’s detox pathways. Here are my top 8 suggestions:

  1. Leafy Green vegetables – get 3 cups a day of mixed greens. For ease and portability, add to a smoothie
  2. Cruciferous vegetables – brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale are liver detox powerhouses. Aim for 2 cups cooked a day.
  3. Flax Seeds – 1-2 Tablespoons of ground seeds to a morning shake or added to cereal or salad packs an amazing fiber punch. Detox isn’t just about the liver, it’s about your poops too!!
  4. Olive Oil – 3 to 4 Tablespoons daily will reduce inflammation and up your body’s glutathione production. Glutathione is the master liver anti-oxidant.
  5. Berries – They contain anti-oxidants to help your liver process toxins.
  6. Green Tea – Helps break down toxins and reduces inflammation. This is a great cancer fighter as well. Aim for 4-5 cups a day or consider a decaffeinated Green Tea supplement – 200mg (2 capsules) of green tea catechins.
  7. Turmeric – This bright yellow herb containing curcumin, the active ingredient, helps the body handle toxins at a reasonable pace without overwhelming the system. Also a wonderful anti-inflammatory. Consider about 1000-2000 mg of curcumin extract daily. Turiva is a favorite of mine. If you are suffering from a lot of inflammation, consider 2 caps 2x/day.
  8. Resveratrol – This antioxidant helps with detoxification and reduces wrinkles. What’s better than that?? It is found in berries, or you can take a supplement containing 40 mg of resveratrol a day. Take one capsule daily.

Start with anything at all. I love you all, but you are very toxic people!! Let’s turn that around. Please Share the Health if you liked what you read!! 

Please Share the Health if you liked what you read!!!

For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website Hey Look! You are already here…

Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendations, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!